Thursday, December 12, 2013

Preparation and Patience

I'm back on my Blogger account this morning and I'm realizing how long I've taken between posts... if anyone has suggestions of how I can make myself keep more regularity in this, I'd be all ears. Regardless, we are in the third week of Advent, the season where we prepare for the birth of the Christ Child. I was helping out with my parish youth group last night and our youth pastor read a selection from a devotional that gave rise to this:

"The time has come! The kingdom of God has come near! Repent. And believe the good news!"
-Mark 1:15 (with slight alteration of punctuation and emphasis)

The first and second weeks of Advent are busy and filled with excited preparation. There are greens to put up, wreaths to be made, cookies that need frosting.

Lessons and carols is being rehearsed, making sure that everyone knows what they're supposed to do so that there can be a good show for those who come visiting.

And amid all of this, when Christmas day is nearly upon us, suddenly we are told to have patience, to slow down, refocus on the Christ candle and remember that this season is for us to prepare ourselves for the in-breaking of God to our world. It's a strange thing in the third week of Advent, that lighting of the rose candle.

I mean, throughout Advent, up until this point, we have been reading about this incredible messianic Servant in Isaiah and we've been looking at the travelling magi. John's gospel has been read right there at the end of the Lessons and Carols liturgy, serving as another prophetic voice, telling us what is to come. And from this, there are so many things that so many people want God to be in their lives.

And yet Christ comes in as a baby. A little infant, soft and vulnerable. It's definitely not the king or judge that is usually spoken of in reference to the Lord Almighty.

My point here is that, no matter how much we prepare for the King, he will always come unexpectedly and in a way that we thought impossible. And we need to be patient with ourselves so that we can respond to the movement of Christ, no matter where (or how) we find him.